Sure, there was plenty of proxy conflicts that led to this but nothing explicitly overt, which is important from a state vs state perspective. America however, just very publicly sucker punched you in the nose and as a result, made it very clear that she knows the guy you hired last Friday who mugged her was directly tied to you. Also, she just said if it ever happens again she’ll kick you in the balls. So now what? You need to respond not via a proxy because America has publicly declared that any response through a proxy is directly attributed to Iran.
You can’t respond conventionally because if you do you’ll be absolutely smashed within a matter of days unless somehow you gain air supremacy and blitzkrieg deep into Iraq destroying the US and Iraqi forces before reinforcements arrive, or do you just take the punch in the nose and continue the proxy provocation after the dust settles month down? Even so, though you need some sort of response to ensure the Iranian state authority.
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